Alert: Following the earthquake on 22 September, Melbourne Water has enacted our rapid response and inspection program for all of our critical assets – including dams - across our areas of operation. Follow our updates.

Waterways and Drainage Charge

More than two million property owners throughout the Port Phillip and Westernport region pay the Waterways and Drainage Charge each year. 

The charge is collected by water retailers and we invest the funds in the following service areas to enhance life and liveability across Greater Melbourne and the surrounding region.

Some information on this page including the service areas below is currently being updated to reflect our 2021-26 Waterways and Drainage Investment Plan. Please read our investment plan for a more detailed look at how your Waterways and Drainage charge will be invested this year.

Service areas


Waterway health and amenity

Caring for rivers and creeks to support biodiversity and create pleasant spaces to enjoy. Services include:

  • improving aquatic habitat
  • enhancing wetlands and estuaries
  • providing grants to community groups
  • planting native trees, cutting grass and spraying weeds

Stormwater quality

Managing stormwater to protect the environmental condition of waterways and bays. Services include:

  • cleaning up litter
  • reducing pollutant runoff
  • building and maintaining wetlands

Flood and drainage services

Providing services that build community resilience to flooding. Services include:

  • flood warning services
  • flood response plans
  • flood protection projects

Flow and water access

Managing and protecting major water resources on behalf of the community.


Emergency response

Managing and responding to emergencies such as flooding and pollution skills.

Waterways and Drainage Charge boundary

Prices and FAQs

Download answers to frequently asked questions about the Waterways and Drainage Charge, or view current prices.

Further information

How prices are set 

Melbourne urban waterway

Like all water businesses in Victoria, our prices are determined by the Essential Services Commission. As part of this process we prepare a Price Submission, which details the service standards and prices we propose for a period of up to five years.

View our Price Submission


How our activities are determined

Workers kneeling by a waterway, wearing gloves

Our Waterways and Drainage Investment Plan details our responsibilities, goals, levels of service and programs of work to be funded by the Waterways and Drainage Charge. We are required to prepare the plan under our Statement of Obligations, and report on our performance each year.

Read our investment plan


What’s happening near me?


Browse our map to find out what activities we’re undertaking in your local area, including our waterways and drainage works.

See what we’re working on